I gave a short devotional for the Ladies Tea at my church. The event was centered on 1 Thessalonians 5. Personally, this chapter is very encouraging to me, but instead of discussing the whole chapter, I concentrated on two verses: 18 and 11—in that order, “Be thankful in all circumstances…” (vs. 18), “encourage each other and build each other up…” (vs. 11).
My point for using these two verses (in reversed order)— for us to be encouraging, we need to be thankful, no matter what. The truth is, it was hard for me to thankful. I seemed to always focus on the negatives in my life—my horrible job, my small house, my personal problems, etc. How was I supposed to be encouraging when I was making myself miserable?
I think it all started to change when I decided to devote more time for God. Instead of looking at my job as “horrible,” I was thankful that I had a job and a regular paycheck. Instead of hating my house because it was small—I was thankful that we had a roof over our head and my children had a place to sleep. I had to remember that God makes all things possible so if I gave my personal problems to Him then He would take care of them (and He did!).
It wasn’t until I started to look at my circumstances in a positive light—to be thankful for what I had—that I was able to truly encourage others. I think all of us are dissatisfied with some aspects of our lives, but I am sure that our outlook will change if we were to find things for which we can thank God– even if we find only small things.
How have you been blessed?